Author's note:
Among all of the instructables on DIY Wii sensor bars I noticed most of them were made out of cardboard or other equally hideous material, so I decided it was time to submit an 'ible on a Wii sensor bar that works and actually looks nice too. Just because it's DIY doesn't mean it can't be beautiful


The Nintendo Wii is arguably the coolest game console ever made, and this is reflected in its December 2009 recored for the best selling console in a single month. The reason for its success is not amazing graphics, which Sony’s Playstation 3 relies on, or lots of gore and adrenaline, like Microsoft’s Xbox 360, but the unique and immersive gameplay offered by its controller - the Wii remote.

Interaction with the Wii is achieved through accelerometers, gyroscopes, and and an infra-red camera inside the Wii remote. This project focuses on the infra-red part of the control system - specifically the sensor bar which sits atop the player’s television, to let the Wii remote know where it is and where it is pointing.

This is my take on a DIY homemade Nintendo Wii wireless sensor bar.

The beauty of DIY is that you can choose how it looks, and out of what materials it is made. I took this opportunity to indulge my inner Steampunk, even if that made things a bit more awkward.

Step 1: Theory

Contrary to popular belief, the complicated electronics and tracking systems are not actually in the “sensor bar”, which is connected by a wire to the Wii, but inside the Wii remote, and that information is sent wirelessly (via bluetooth) to the Wii. This makes my life easier, as it means that the wire connecting the sensor bar to the Wii actually only carries power, no information, So to make a wireless sensor bar, the only thing I need to do is supply power - no wireless data transmission.

The sensor bar works thus: there are a number of infra-red LEDs (ten I think) which are invisible to the human eye, but can be seen by the Wii remote’s infra-red camera. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. To make things even simpler, after doing a quick bit of research, You only need four LEDs for a perfectly functional sensor bar. Dunno why the other six are there.
Wow! This instructable is brilliant! I love the way that you don't do things the way that most people do them and how you do thing on the cheap, but beautifully! Well done, I think this is how ALL instructables should be done.
Wow, such glowing praise! Thank you very much, i'm glad to hear my work is appreciated

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Bio: I study Aerospace Engineering at RMIT, in the hope that one day I will be able to bring about the return of intercontinental airship cruises ... More »
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